Shepard Smith: I’m sick of COVID. Would it be better if I just get Omicron?

Good lord. Omicron has achieved what no other variant was capable of: It redpilled Shep Smith.

I got a laugh out of the fact that he put this question to Rochelle Walensky, the head of the CDC. As if there’s an infectious disease expert anywhere on Earth who’d sign off on deliberately infecting oneself with a virus that’s been known to humanity for all of a month.

Walensky should have told him the truth, that he’s going to get it whether he means to or not. Watch these two clips, then read on.

If they’re so sure it’s mild, the infected might as well kick down the door of the local nursing home and go around breathing in the residents’ faces. Throw a big pox party for the grandmas and grandpas in the neighborhood and spread that sweet natural immunity to every frail 95-year-old in sight. I’m sure it’ll work out.

I’ll give Shep a reason to hang in there and try to dodge Omicron for a few weeks. There’s a fair chance that if he can lie low for that long, the variant will be gone by the time he reemerges. Not only are cases declining in South Africa…

…they may be declining in London as well:

In Denmark, cases are still going up — but at the moment, hospitalizations are going down:

Even a doomsayer as resolute as Anthony Fauci is optimistic that the Omicron surge won’t survive January: “It’s going to be a matter of a couple of weeks that we then start to see just as dramatic a decline. That’s what we’re hoping for.” I can all but guarantee that we’ll see a decline in cases sometime soon — not because infections aren’t happening but because there are only so many tests to go around. Walgreens and CVS are besieged by customers searching for rapid tests before the holidays. Walgreens has limited purchases to four per person to try to keep enough on the shelves for everyone who wants one.

As Americans place a high-stakes bet on Omicron being both mild and short-lived, Europeans are gambling the other way. Nations like the UK and the Netherlands ordered new restrictions to try to limit the spread of the variant, and even the country that became famous during the pandemic for eschewing government-imposed restrictions has chosen to clamp down. Sweden says it’s time for people to keep their distance from each other:

Sweden will urge all employees to work from home if possible and impose tighter rules for social distancing, the government said on Tuesday, as it ratchets up restrictions to fight a surge in new infections and the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus…

The latest restrictions – the second stage of the government’s plans – includes a limit of 50 people at private gatherings and the need for a vaccination pass for public events where there are more than 500 people.

Bars and restaurants will only be able to serve seated guests while the public will also have to be seated at larger events – like football matches. Shops will have to limit the number of customers to prevent crowding.

This fall, lockdown opponents in the U.S. pointed to Sweden as having reaped a “freedom dividend” in the form of low case counts during 2021. The Swedes were hit hard earlier in the pandemic and paid the price with many more deaths per capita than their Scandinavian neighbors, but from June through mid-November of this year they enjoyed a low steady baseline of cases as countries like the U.S. experienced new surges. That raised the possibility that Sweden had reached herd immunity at last. But cases began inching up again around a month ago, shortly before Omicron went global. And now that Omicron has arrived, the case counts are climbing:

Herd immunity only works until a variant comes along that’s immune-evasive. Still, Sweden’s spike isn’t nearly as dramatic as Denmark’s and daily deaths there haven’t reliably exceeded single digits since May. If it’s true that South Africa is faring well with Omicron because so many people in that country have natural immunity, the Swedes should fare well too.

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